Tag Archives: Soul music

BLACK MUSIC MONTH SIZZLES??


Black Music month Sizzles! (OP/ED)

Los Angeles,Calif._ June Glides into Summer 2021 with a Bang as Throwbacks are “IN” Again!

In a recent conference on the state of affairs in music and entertainment. Though the scene looks devastated in some areas, and just plain “Busted and Disgusted” conditions for bars/supper clubs even at 50%.

One half of maximum patronage at one time is not cutting it”. In Los Angeles county alone, where a large portion of restaurants are under water. especially the small “Mom & Pop” cafe/ bistros for a niche market, they’re hit the heaviest. Musicians and all the support within the Entertainment business are hoping to see a major change by summer. The summer may be the “Sink or Swim” time for medium, large chains, and entertainment businesses. Follow us on @FreedomJazzDance at Facebook pages or email us at pocketjazz@musician.org

Pocket Jazz Presents  team are readying themselves with an eclectic bunch of dramatic shows with music of the era , such as Sam Cooke Legacy Revue, Nina Simone Tribute:High Priestess! Or, Charlie Parker Legacy Compositions:Wounded Feathers!  featured as a point of information and historical “Edutainment” series. Included, an Interview show about Artists interviewing Artists about ART.

ON FACEBOOK: Pocketjazzpresents page/ @FreedomJazzDance

Bombingham 63/ (They Called it Dynamite Hill) ~ produced by Robert J. Carmack and Vel Omarr with Naomi Stenson. Cast members ..Naomi Pryor-Stenson -Ms. Collins / Mechelle LaChaux- I.Willie Johnson -Music Minister, wife of Dr. Johnson/ Robert J. Carmack -Dr Robert J. Johnson

Vel Omarr, who stars as Sam Cooke in the original story, The Awakening stated, “We’re not just putting on a show, but actually in some cases , shedding new light on old myths and half truths . Black artists and their historical status” are sometimes left for self-interpretation. Pocket jazz produced a one night only show in 2018 .. it was a sold out performances, but could not extend the performances beyond the one night only dates.

COMING 2021/22

Pocket Jazz Presents~High Priestess- a Nina Simone Tribute~moving, dramatic showcase of the social /protest music from early 1960s. 1965 setting in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Calif. : while rehabbing from an injured right hand, Nina is surprised when interviewed by a reporter from Ebony magazine.  but he’s also from her hometown in North Carolina. Special curated songs and music, original writings based on a play  written by R.J. Carmack. Historical material about civil rights, the leaders who were part of the struggle. running time for show is 90 plus minutes. And, a Q&A session for ½ hour post-performance by artists and directors. Target : Educational , Theaters,and dinner clubs. Running time:2 hours Fees: TBA

Sam Cooke Legacy series: L.A. early 1962-1964 -dramatic scenes infused with the very popular Sam Cooke songs performed to perfection by Soul Singer/actor, Vel Omarr -5-7 piece band plus backing vocalists, additional actor-L.C. Cooke / brother. Show running time is 1.5 hours.

One thing for sure, Summer 2021 is certainly going to be a swim or sink moment in my humble opinion. As part of a creative team of artist, we look forward to audience returns in 100% formats.

Kamaad Tauhid is a contributing editor at Hipstersanctuary.com @blues2jazzguy email: pocketjazz@musician.org

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAMSEY: STILL THE IN CROWD @ 80


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #@blues2jazzguy

Ramsey Lewis in Color older version
Ramsey Lewis posing in recent times

Composer, Pianist, TV host and Jazz legend RAMSEY LEWIS has been referred to as “the great performer,”  a title reflecting his performance and style. It seems strange saying Ramsey Lewis in the same sentence as 80 years old.  Still youthful looking and playing at the peek of his power ,one would never know it.

I grew up on Ramsey sort of..I mean, One day me and a buddy was fooling around with his cousin’s jazz albums listening and just checking out people we never heard of before. we were able to do this unsupervised because his cousin was in Viet Nam, a long ways away from seeing us . Especially since we were only 13, well, almost 14.

We were just trying to be cool and mature by knowing all the latest Cats in Jazz and those before as well. Anyway, I ran across this one album that had a beautiful black woman with a dress sitting by a pond barefooted looking all sexy.

As all young boys do, we started bragging on our latest girls looking as good or better than . Finally I said,  “lets play that record?” my friend said, ” Man,I don’t know??? looking at them  is one thing, but playing it might mean trouble. But I egged him on by telling him he was chicken,”I’m Not CHICKEN! ,He said loudly. “OK you not chicken then play it and prove it, I replied.

Huffing and puffing, He finally reached over and took the album out of the sleeve and put it on the stereo Hi-Fi (that’s right Hi-Fi).. from the very first cut we were popping our fingers and lighting imaginary “Joints” , then we went into full “Hipster-mode” the rest of that whole album. This album “swung like a gate” on a well-oiled post.

Barefoot Sunday Blues .(ARGO Jazz label, a div. of Chicago based CHESS Records.)

I was a fan from that day on, then the big day came. Ramsey hit #1 on the radio, a cover song to an already Hit Soul tune by Dobie Gray, “The IN-CROWD”. That sealed the deal for me, that one cut changed the whole music industry for jazz. Here we are 50 years later, and Ramsey is still part of the In-Crowd, just ask anybody in music like Nancy Wilson or Quincy Jones.  

His performances and records touch all genres of music for the last 6 decades. A native Chicagoan born May 27, 1935, Ramsey represents the great diverse music for which Chicago is noted. Ramsey Lewis first captivated fans with his first album Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing by the Ramsey Lewis Trio in 1956.

He has three Grammy Awards and Seven Gold Records to his credit. Often called legendary, Mr. Lewis concedes “It’s a high honor when someone says so, but I don’t see myself that way. What keeps me enthusiastic and energizes me, is the realization that the more I learn, the more I find there is to know.”

Ramsey Lewis Trio in Europe  1960s
Ramsey Lewis Trio in Europe 1960s photo by William Claxton

WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN-PERCY SLEDGE 1941-2015 RIP


posted by Robert J. Carmack   #@blues2jazzguy

Percy   Color Pix
Percy Sledge soul Singer

Soul Music icon, Percy Sledge, after being taken off the road late last year and hospitalized has died.

it was announced on Tuesday, April 13, by a spokesperson for the family. The Southern Soul singer recorded one of the “biggest” records of 1966, When a Man Loves a Woman.

Released on Atlantic in 1966, “When a Man Loves a Woman” topped the R&B and pop charts for multiple weeks and raised the bar for soul balladeering for all time. Yet Sledge’s career didn’t end with that momentous first single. Over the years he racked up a dozen hits at Atlantic, including “Warm and Tender Love,” “It Tears Me Up,” “Out of Left Field” and “Take Time to Know Her.”

Percy Sledge  1966
Percy Sledge 1966

Sledge, who was born in Leighton, Alabama, was working as a hospital orderly when he began playing clubs and frat parties with the Esquires, a locally popular group, in 1965. As he recalls, “I was singing every style of music: the Beatles, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Motown,Sam Cooke, the Platters.” That broad exposure gave him a soulful versatility as a singer that is evident on his Atlantic recordings.

“When a Man Loves a Woman” was Sledge’s first single, cut by producers Quin Ivy and Marlin Greene at their modest studio in Sheffield, Alabama. Sledge had carried the song’s melody with him for a long time.“I hummed it all my life, even when I was picking and chopping cotton in the fields,” Sledge recalls.

REMEMBERING A HIT MUSIC MACHINE: RIP SKIP SCARBOROUGH


posted by Robert J. Carmack  #blues2jazzguy

Clarence Alexander Scarborough wrote,co-wrote, or produced hit records for Earth Wind & Fire, LTD, Anita Baker, Blue Magic, and so on. How did he do all this, where most people never heard of him, nor did they recognize his face.

Ashford & Simpson wrote for people and you knew what they looked like. Yeah, they also recorded as a performing act too.  So did Lennon & McCartney, Johnny Bristol, McFadden & Whitehead, Isaac Hayes. This phantom like guy with the Hit Parade of songs is Skip Scarborough. He was one of the greatest, most successful Songwriter/Producers ever!

Okay. Let’s see if this list of credits impresses you. “Love’s Holiday” and “Can’t Hide Love” (Earth Wind & Fire), “Love Ballad” (LTD), “Giving You The Best That I’ve Got” (Anita Baker), “Side Show” and “Three Ring Circus” (Blue Magic), “Ffun” (Con Funk Shun), “Don’t Ask My Neighbor” (Emotions), “The Answer Is You” (Phyllis Hyman), “Love Changes” ( Mother’s Finest), “Love Or Let Me Be Lonely” (Friends of Distinction), “Lovely Day” (Bill Withers), “Lover To Lover” (Bobbie Humphrey), “It’s Alright With Me” and “Come What May” (Patti LaBelle), and “Sacrifice of Praise” (Edwin Hawkins).

All songs Skip Scarborough either wrote, co-wrote and/or produced. Most of these he did write singularly or with partners. Hard to believe all those hit songs came from someone who’s virtually unknown outside the music business. He was extremely well known in the business of music. You don’t get to write for the top acts or, write many smash hits and not be known by your colleagues.

Skip was born November 26, 1944 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At the time of his death, July 3, 2003, he was married to singer, Alton McClain (Scarborough). He married her just as her singing group was breaking up in the 70’s. You may remember all female trio, Alton McClain & Destiny; they had that one big hit, “It Must Be Love. (Skip didn’t write this song.) Destiny also recorded Angela Winbush’s classic, “The Power of Love.” Stephanie Mills had the bigger hit of the three recordings of this song.

Shortly after their marriage, Alton McClain went into the Gospel field where she still shines.

We just wanted to acknowledge this masterful Songwriter/Producer who unselfishly contributed to all our lives with his wonderfully crafted songs. The best way we can celebrate his genius is by PLAYING /POSTING his music and talking to youth just entering the music business ,making them aware of his body of work. Enjoy Skip Scarborough’s classics.